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Govʼt introduces new mask rules, price limit for tests, temperature checks at schools

Hungaryʼs government decided to extend rules on wearing masks, will set a limit on the price of COVID-19 tests and will make it compulsory to take the body temperature of all students and teachers when entering schools from October 1, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced in a social media post, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

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No-one except students and teachers will be allowed to enter the schools, he noted.

The government set the maximum price that can be charged for a COVID-19 test at HUF 19,500.

"As the pandemic was brought in from abroad", the government will upkeep the restrictions on visits from abroad introduced early September, and will keep the full ban on visiting hospitals and nursing homes in force, the Prime Minister said.

The obligation to wear masks will be extended beyond shops and public transport to cinemas, theaters, health and public service institutions.

Bars and other entertainment venues will have to close at 11 p.m. in the evening, he said, without giving a date for the introduction of these measures.

Orbán said that professionals put the peak of the second wave of the pandemic around December or January until which "we must keep continuous defense". 

"We have a battle plan for how to protect the elderly and heal the sick and keep the country functioning at the same time", he said.

The health system is prepared for the challenges both in terms of protective equipment, hospital beds and staff, Orbán said. "There are 10,000 hospital beds available but we can double or triple the number, and, based on a command plan, we can send doctors and nurses to wherever necessary, he added.

Orbán said that through the Minister of Interior he instructed the police to rigorously check abidance by the measures and penalize non-compliance.